AstraZeneca boosts open innovation efforts

Astrazeneca (AZ) has launched a new web portal, bringing together new and existing open innovation programmes. The aim is to make collaboration with academics, other companies, governments and non-government organisations easier.

Like a growing number of pharmaceutical companies, AZ already collaborates extensively with academics and other organisation. However, it wants to open up these programmes and encourage potential collaborators. AZ will offer access to its compound library, tool compounds for biological investigations, screening for target validation and various other services. There will also be rewards for researchers who suggest solutions for challenges the company is facing.

‘To push the boundaries of science and deliver new medicines to patients, we need to create a more permeable research environment,’ said AZ’s Mene Pangalos in a statement. ‘An essential part of that is making our knowledge and compounds more accessible.’

This move follows several similar initiatives from other companies: most notably GlaxoSmithKline, which has opened up extensive chunks of its compound libraries and runs collaborative drug discovery contests; Eli Lilly, which has ongoing target-based and phenotypic screening services available to potential collaborators; and a consortium of Japanese firms.

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